Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

brightwoodAlgonquin Young Readers, 2016.

Daisy Fitzjohn and her mother have everything they need in the mansion that is their home. In fact, Daisy has never been outside the grounds, not even to accompany her mother on her weekly shopping trips. But one Monday morning Daisy wakes to hear her mother leaving in the car, which is puzzling. Wednesday is shopping day, so where could her mother possibly be going? When Daisy’s mother fails to return and when a long lost cousin arrives hoping to develop the property, Daisy will have to use her considerable wit, her intimate knowledge of the house and property, and the help of her friends (a rat, a topiary, a statue, and a ghostly explorer named Frank) to save herself and her home.

Brightwood is a fun and adventurous tale with an admirable, clever, and strong main character and a villain to be reviled. A fun, adventurous read suitable for home, classroom, and library collections.

I received an advance reader copy of Brightwood from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

30439157Spectacle, 2016.

Anna Morgan’s got voices in her head, but they’re not a sign of mental illness, they’re ghosts who take up residence. Anna doesn’t seem to have a choice about picking up these hitchhikers, and they’re darned persistent, expecting her to give last messages to their loved ones or finish business they didn’t complete.

Anna doesn’t love her special skill, but she’s used to it, and she’s learned how to achieve what she needs to to help her hitchhikers pass on. She thought she had, anyway, until a hitchhiker with a particularly gruesome death gets Anna wrapped up with other kids with super powers and a secret government operation.

Not simply a fast-paced, high stakes thriller, The Delphi Effect has strong, but sympathetic characters, a mystery larger than the first book, a huge helping of personal loyalty, and a sprinkle of romance — all the things that make for a satisfying read. These books are not for the violence adverse, but they’re a great read for anyone who likes an engaging read. I’m looking forward to books two and three in the series!

I read an electronic advance reader copy of The Delphi Effect courtesy of NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.